Ma­jor­ity in favour of event cen­tre fund­ing

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By STEVE ED­WARDS

Mata­mata- Pi­ako District Coun­cil has been flooded with sub­mis­sions on the pro­posed Te Aroha Events Cen­tre, a ma­jor­ity in favour of ratepay­ers con­tribut­ing $2 mil­lion to­wards the project.

The pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process con­ducted by the coun­cil at­tracted al­most 1200 sub­mis­sions, with more than 1000 sup­port­ing the coun­cil con­tri­bu­tion.

A staff report said this level of re­sponse is par­tic­u­larly high when com­pared with the coun­cil’s pre­vi­ous con­sul­ta­tions.

A char­i­ta­ble trust wants to build a multi- pur­pose in­door fa­cil­ity at Boyd Park.

The trust has raised just un­der $1 mil­lion, with es­ti­mates tabled in a pre­vi­ous coun­cil staff report sug­gest­ing to­tal costs will be be­tween $4.5m and $5m.

A coun­cil hear­ing on the lo­cal author­ity’s com­mit­ment or oth­er­wise to the project is be­ing held to­day in Te Aroha, with 29 peo­ple/ groups wish­ing to be heard.

Mor­rinsville and Te Aroha com­mu­nity boards pre­vi­ously re­solved to ‘‘re­ceive the in­for­ma­tion’’ on the project.

The staff report, to be tabled at this morn­ing’s coun­cil meet­ing, said salient points raised in the sub­mis­sions were the great as­set/ ben­e­fits the events cen­tre would bring; rates in­creases/rates bur­den; and sug­ges­tions of user pays/ tar­geted rates.

The coun­cil should con­sider whether the events cen­tre will be a districtwide fa­cil­ity or a fa­cil­ity for Te Aroha ward res­i­dents, said the report.

‘‘If it is to be a districtwide fa­cil­ity, coun­cil should con­sider whether it is eq­ui­table to be charg­ing solely Te Aroha ratepay­ers for the fa­cil­ity. This is par­tic­u­larly so given that Te Aroha ratepay­ers have contributed to fa­cil­i­ties in Mor­rinsville and Mata­mata in the past.’’

An­other op­tion dis­cussed in the report is dif­fer­en­tial rates based on dis­tance from the events cen­tre.

Some sub­mit­ters ques­tioned why non-ratepay­ers should have a say on the mat­ter.

Un­der the Lo­cal Government Act, the coun­cil is obliged to ac­cept sub­mis­sions from non-ratepay­ers and con­sider them with an open mind.

‘‘What weight is given to non- res­i­den­tial/ non­ratepayer sub­mis­sions is a pol­icy judge­ment for coun­cil to make,’’ said the report.

Groups that have ex­pressed an in­ter­est in us­ing Te Aroha Events Cen­tre in­clude in­door bowls, vol­ley­ball, bas­ket­ball, net­ball, gymnastics and Te Aroha Col­lege.

The staff report said the coun­cil will need to iden­tify all the prac­ti­ca­ble op­tions – par­tic­u­larly with re­spect to fund­ing op­tions and the im­pact of this de­ci­sion on cur­rent and fu­ture ratepay­ers.

Con­struc­tion of the fa­cil­ity ‘‘would sup­port com­mu­nity well­be­ing by con­tribut­ing to the health and well­be­ing of peo­ple’’.

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